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Cybercriminals use image from James Webb telescope to infect devices

Cybercriminals use image from James Webb telescope to infect devices

The massive popularity of the image taken by the James Webb Space Telescope brought with it yet another way for cybercriminals to infiltrate users’ personal devices via malware.

The images taken by james webb space telescope published by NASA were a trend at the time of their dissemination by the space agency, and shared massively among those passionate about astronomy and curious about the study of the universe.

However, the image’s massive popularity also brought with it yet another way for cybercriminals to infiltrate users’ personal devices via malware, security analytics firm Securonix reported.

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The company indicated that a malware campaign has been identified that aims to take control of the device, be it a smartphone, tablet, computer or laptop, of users who receive an infected version of the image.

Undetectable for various antivirus

The means by which the cybercriminals would be spreading the virus to the devices would be an email that, through phishing tactics and photography, infiltrates the malware without the user or an antivirus system being able to detect it.

Cybercriminals use the image of the James Webb space telescope to infiltrate malware that is not detected by antivirus systems.  (ifep.com/Scyther)
Cybercriminals use the image of the James Webb space telescope to infiltrate malware that is not detected by antivirus systems. (ifep.com/Scyther)

This is because, along with the photograph of the telescope, a Microsoft Office document is downloaded with a hidden sequence of instructions that makes the device’s security system think that it is just another downloadable file and not a virus. For the company, this form of device infiltration without any identification by an antivirus is a serious security breach.

According to Augusto Barros, vice president of Securonix, one of the reasons why cybercriminals are using this image from the NASA telescope is because of the large file size due to its high resolution, which makes infiltration less suspicious. of malware. In addition, although it may eventually be recognized by an antivirus, the warning could be ignored since the image is known.

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How to avoid being a phishing victim

A report by the cybersecurity company Appgate indicates that, of the 4 most common types of fraud in 2022, phishing is in first place. This type of attack consists of cybercriminals posing as a well-known person or company and giving an appearance of trust to users so that they voluntarily deliver private information, whether they are passwords to their accounts on social networks or bank codes. which could result in the theft of money.

Phishing attacks involve cybercriminals posing as a well-known person or company and giving users the appearance of trust so that they will voluntarily hand over private information.  (Franziska Gabbert/dpa)
Phishing attacks involve cybercriminals posing as a well-known person or company and giving users the appearance of trust so that they will voluntarily hand over private information. (Franziska Gabbert/dpa)

According to the Fraud Beat 2022 report from the security company, this modality represents 80% of the incidents reported to the authorities and is one of the most sophisticated and realistic.

To avoid being a victim of this type of cyber attack, users should take into account the following recommendations:

– Verify if the email that sent the message is legitimate by reviewing the address from which the communication occurred.

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– If it is a “bank entity” that offers a promotion or unique offer that requires entering data through a link or form, it is better to contact the bank directly through its official channels.

– In the event that a close contact sends a link via WhatsApp, before entering it, it is good to ask the person what it is about or why they sent it. Many scams ask to share links or make use of malware that sends messages without the victim’s consent to increase the spread of the virus.

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